Saturday, October 30, 2010

Speak Now

Once again I’ve had a busy week with school and work, so I haven’t been able to update until now.  Anywho, I’ve decided this time that I’m going to do something a little different; I’m going to do a review of Speak Now.  Now before you go on reading this post, you should know that this is solely my opinion, not yours, mine.  My opinion is not god, and I respect that other people may have opposite opinions, so please respect mine.  The reason I’ve decided to do this one, is because I’ve been getting called a “hater” on a lot forums for stating my opinion on this album, and I just wanted to let people know why I have these opinions.  I’m basically going to write what I think about each individual song, and then the album as a whole, so it’s probably going to be a longer post.  Also, I’m not going to comment on the deluxe content, as it would make this post far too long, and probably boring. 

Earlier this week, I bought a much-anticipated C.D.  Speak Now by Taylor Swift.  I’ve been so excited for the release of this album, as I can easily say that Taylor Swift is my favorite music artist, and I couldn’t wait to hear what she came up with after Fearless.  So, the first thing I did when I got in my car after leaving the store, was rip the plastic off, and pop it into my stereo.  Needless to say, the drive from the store to my house is a short one, so I only got to hear the first 3 songs, which I have already heard.  I get home, turn on my computer, and pop the C.D in, all the while I’m just filling with excitement.  Once the C.D loaded into iTunes, I sat there and listened to every track.  After over an hour, I sat there, and couldn’t help but feel disappointed.  I was so sure that I’d love the album, but I didn’t.  I barely even liked it.

Here are my thoughts on each song:
Long Live – This one was reportedly written for her band.  I actually really liked this one, I didn’t at first, but it grew on me.  I thought she did a really good job at telling the story of their rise to fame, without actually telling the story.  Well written, and it was kind of cool how she compared them to the Kings & Queens, slaying dragons, and crashing through walls.  Great metaphors there, really shows her writing talent.  Not only are the lyrics pretty well written, but it has a great melody.  I almost feel like this is part 2 to Change from Fearless, so I’m surprised I like Long Live, considering Change was the one and only song off of Fearless that I absolutely hated.

Last Kiss – Hidden code = “Forever and Always”, so I think it’s a safe bet to say this one is about Joe Jonas.  I think it’s a beautiful song, and once again, it wasn’t really her literally telling the story, more-so just the things she misses about him, but didn’t really use metaphors much.  I think it’s a subject that is very relatable.  The one thing about it though, is that I find it hard to enjoy it and relate to it knowing that it’s about Joe.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around that and see past it, so hopefully I can eventually enjoy the song.

Haunted – I find this song to be very dark, both the lyrics and the melody, although this isn’t a bad thing.  My problem with this song, is that I find her voice just sounds really weird in it, and I can’t imagine her ever being able to sing it live, because the tone of this song is quite low.  Looking at the lyrics, I think its safe to say that we’ve heard songs about this guy before.  One line that stood out to me was “Can’t breathe whenever you’re gone”, which made me think 2 things: 1) is it about the same guy as Breathe from Fearless, and 2) She is reusing her lyrics.  Another line that stood out was “but the whole time I’m missing you instead”, which made me wonder if its also the same guy as in The Way I loved You.   The third line, which also made me think of The Way I Loved You off Fearless was the line at the end “Can’t Go Back I’m Haunted”, which is quite similar to TWILY’s code “we cant go back”.

­            Innocent – as we all know, it’s about Kanye West & the whole VMA incident.  The lyrics of this song were well written, and I think it delivers a deep message.  Separately, I like the verses, and I like the chorus.  Together, well I don’t really think they flow together very nicely (melody wise, not lyrics wise).  So this one, the problem isn’t the lyrics, it’s the music.  It just doesn’t fit well together, and I find it’s really distracting and takes away from the song.

Better Than Revenge – Word on the street that it is about either Camilla Belle or Ashley Greene, but I won’t get into that because it would make this post longer than necessary.  The thing I like about this is the melody, it’s got more rock to it and almost reminds me of Picture to Burn.  The lyrics, although immature and very classless (especially the chorus) don’t really bother me, what does however, is all the background talking, like in the beginning “now go stand in the corner….” And spread through out this song.  I find it annoying, and it almost reminds me of something the Jonas Brothers would do in a song (Video Girl, anyone?).  The song could have done without it, and it would make it much more enjoyable, in my opinion.

Enchanted – One of my favorites on the album, although, I don’t like how she pretty much is literally telling the story.  I find the chorus to be very powerful, not necessarily lyrics wise, but melody wise and voice wise.  I don’t think the reason I like this one is because of the lyrics (which is usually the case for me), but because the melody/tune and way it’s sung in both the chorus and the verses.

Never Grow Up – I think this is one of the ones that I will never like, and will probably always skip over.. Nothing I really like about it.  I find that she’s putting too much story into this one, its jam packed, and there are some instances where it seems that she had to jam the lyrics into the melody in order to tell the story.  Altogether, it just sounds really randomly thrown together.  In my opinion, once again, she is reusing her songs; she’s already written a much better version of this song, titled “The Best Day”.

The Story Of Us – once again, she used the annoying background voices, “next chapter, end story, etc”.  I don’t know why, but the melody/composition of this one sounds very similar to Better than Revenge to me.  Once again, she is literally telling the story, rather than a story based off of emotions.  I can see this one playing in clubs already, the background sounds very close to having a little bit of a techno beat.  The lyrics aren’t very deep, and in my opinion Taylor is capable of writing much better than this.

Mean – I like this one, it has a good message, and she doesn’t literally tell the story like in a lot of the songs.  I think my favorite part about this song is that it’s so stripped down, very light on the instruments, but you can really hear the country music elements, and its easy to focus on her vocals.

Dear John – there’s just something about this one that makes it one of my least favorites.  I think the chorus is weak, especially when she sings the words “Dear John”, I feel like she is wailing.  Not to mention it is almost 7 minutes long, and the song just seems to drag on and on and on, and never end.

Speak Now – I find the story is a little bit lame, and very unrealistic (although it’s known this story didn’t actually happen), and once again she literally tells the story rather than telling it through emotions.  The idea of “Speaking Now” is realistic, but I was expecting this song to be much different than simply “Speaking now or forever hold your peace” at a wedding.  Just like Mean, I like that Speak Now is very stripped down, and it really emphasizes Taylor’s vocals, especially because she really uses her voice as an instrument in this one.

Back To December -  Again (I feel like I’m getting repetitive on this one), she literally tells the story.  Other than that, it’s nice to see her finally admitting she was wrong in one of her songs.  It’s a very out there way to apologizing, but it is a good way of showing how sincere she is.  However, I almost feel like I’m invading their privacy when I listen to this song. It’s almost too personal, and I think the use of metaphors rather than literally telling the story could have solved this issue.

Sparks Fly – one of my favorites, and to be honest, I think lyrics wise, it’s the best song written on this album, which is weird because it was written years before the rest of the songs on this album.  She really captures the emotions in this one, and plays off of them.  I do, however, like the old live version better, it seemed to have more energy in it than this recorded version.  That being said, it is quite likely that the reason for that is because live performances do tend to convey more energy.

Mine – I liked this one from the first time I heard it.  It got me really excited to hear the rest of her album.  While once again I dislike how she is literally telling the story, and doesn’t really touch upon the emotions felt, this song seems to have a lot of energy in it.  The melody is perfect, and I can easily picture her doing this one live.  The best thing about this song is that you can really hear the country elements in it, and it leans more towards the rock side than acoustic, but at the same time, it doesn’t drown out her vocals at all.

So, all in all, as I have previously mentioned, I didn’t really like the album as a whole.  I found she didn’t write about the actual emotions as well as she did in her previous 2 albums.  And on top of that, I found the album to be almost too Hollywood… Yes, it is known that she writes about true relationships, and Yes, it is inevitable that she will be friends/romantically involved with other singers, so it’s not that I care that she writes about them, but it almost seemed to me like she went out of her way to make sure we are aware of which celebrity she is singing about.

Even though I didn’t like this one, Do I still hope she breaks 1 million sales in week one? Hell yes.  Would I still go see her in concert? Yes.  Just because I didn’t like this album, doesn’t mean I’m all of a sudden going to stop supporting her.  A lot of artists put out albums that don’t necessarily please all of their fans, and just because I don’t like this one, doesn’t mean that I won’t like her next one.

So Taylor, bring on the next album.. I’ll be waiting. : )


Lola Staar

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